It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t tidy. But the Pirates came out on top for another road win in Houston. The Pirates let a one run lead slip away in the eighth inning before posting a three-spot in the eleventh.
Two seemingly perpetual thorns plagued the Kevin Correia early. Jeff Keppinger doubled and was singled in by Hunter Pence in the first inning. The Pirates got on top in the second. Lyle Overbay doubled and with two gone starter Wandy Rodriguez gave an intentional pass to Eric Fryer to face Kevin Correia. But he doubled and the Pirates scored twice to take a 2-1 lead.
Houston regained the lead in the third. Clint Barmes singled and came in on a two out blast from Keppinger to give Houston a 3-2 lead. Pittsburgh played small ball with success in the fourth. Brandon Wood walked. Fryer singled. Both were bunted over by Correia. Alex Presley’s single drove in the tying run.
Presley was working two out magic again in teh sixth. Wood doubled and was still on second two outs later when Presley doubled him home.
The Pirates bullpen was summoned to hold the lead. But they were unable to. Joe Beimel started the seventh and gave up a single Brett Wallace. Carlos Corporan grounded into a double play. But Angel Sanchez and Michael Bourn both singled, prompting the removal of Beimel from the game in favor of Daniel McCutchen. He retired Barmes on a fly ball to end the threat.
It wouldn’t go as well in the eighth. Jose Veras yielded a lead off single to – who else? – Keppinger. After getting the next two hitters on fly ball outs, he was pulled for Joel Hanrahan. He surrendered a game tying double to Chris Johnson.
Neither team mounted a scoring threat until the eleventh. Closer Mark Melancon was called out for his third inning. Wood led off with a double. Xavier Paul reached on an error by Melancon and the Pirates had runners on the corners with one out. Humberto Quintero allowed a passed ball and Josh Harrison (pinch running for Wood) scored from third. Presley’s single scored Paul from second base. Aneury Rodriguez was called on in place of Melancon. He gave a free pass to Neil Walker. Rodriguez became the second Astro pitcher of the inning to commit an error. This one was off the bat of Andrew McCutchen and it allowed Presley to score.
Chris Resop closed it out in the bottom of the eleventh. He gave up a solo homer to Quintero to make the final score 7-5.
Chris Leroux earned the win by tossing a scoreless inning in the tenth. Melancon was the loser. Correia gave up Houston’s first three runs in six innings. They got five hits and a walk off of him. He struck out four. Rodriguez was done after 5-2/3 innings. He gave up eight hits and three walks. He struck out eleven and was charged with four runs. Hanrahan blew a save for the first time all year.
Presley had three hits and drove in three.
Bucs are a half game out of first.
Bucs reached double digits in whiffs, again.
Chase D’Arnaud was 0-6 and struck out four times.
Rodriguez remains 7-5 against Pittsburgh. Correia is still 0-1 against Houston.
Neil Walker extended his hitting streak to eleven games.
Leroux picked up his first career win. Resop picked up his firt career save.
Fryer had the first two hit game of his career and collected career hits #2 and #3.
Keppinger was 6-13 with two homers, four RBI and four runs scored in the three game set.